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Agenda and minutes

Venue: Committee Room 1 & 2, The Guildhall, Market Square, Cambridge, CB2 3QJ

Contact: Democratic Services  Committee Manager

Items
No. Item

Re-Ordering Agenda

Under paragraph 4.2.1 of the Council Procedure Rules, the Chair used his discretion to alter the order of the agenda items. However, for ease of the reader, these minutes will follow the order of the agenda.

 

Thanks to Previous Executive Councillor

Councillor Thornburrow requested that the minutes recorded the Committees thanks to the former Executive Councillor for Planning Policy and Transport, Councillor Blencowe, for his hard work over many years.

19/18/PnT

Apologies for Absence

Minutes:

Apologies were received from the Committee Chair, Councillor Smart. Councillor Sheil, as Vice-Chair, chaired the meeting. Councillor Bird was present as an alternate.

 

The Executive Councillor for Transport and Community Safety, Councillor Massey also sent apologies.

 

Councillor Bick left after the consideration of item 19/23/PnT.

19/19/PnT

Declarations of Interest

Minutes:

No declarations of interest were made.

19/20/PnT

Minutes pdf icon PDF 222 KB

Minutes:

The minutes of the meeting held on 19th March 2019 were approved as a correct record and signed by the Chair.

19/21/PnT

Public Questions

Minutes:

Members of the public asked a number of questions regarding item 19/25/PnT. Full details can be found with the minute of that item.

 

19/22/PnT

2018/19 General Fund Revenue and Capital Outturn, Carry Forwards and Significant Variances - P&T pdf icon PDF 674 KB

Minutes:

Matter for Decision

 

The report presented, for the Planning Policy & Transport Portfolio:

 

  i.  A summary of actual income and expenditure compared to the final budget for 2018/19 (outturn position)

 

  ii.  Revenue and capital budget variances with explanations

 

  iii.  Specific requests to carry forward funding available from budget underspends into 2019/20.

 

The report was for the 2018/19 outturn the services that were included in the Planning Policy & Transport Portfolio prior to the current year committee restructure was detailed.

 

Decision of Executive Councillor for Planning Policy and Open Spaces

 

Resolved: To agree to request that the Executive Councillor for Finance and Resources, at the Strategy and Resources Scrutiny Committee on 1 July 2019, approved the following:

 

  i.  Carry forward requests of £995k capital resources from 2018/19 to 2019/20 to fund rephased net capital spending, as detailed in Appendix D of the Officers report.

 

Reason for the Decision

As set out in the Officer’s report.

 

Any Alternative Options Considered and Rejected

Not applicable.

 

Scrutiny Considerations

The Committee received a report from the Caroline Ryba, Head of Finance.

 

In response to the report Councillors commented that the figures provided did not allow members to judge how the Parking Service was performing. Variances appeared to be high against the forecast. The Strategic Director undertook to address this outside the meeting.

 

The Committee made the following comments in response to the report:

  i.  Suggested that the Taxi Card Scheme and other transport subsidies should be promoted more widely.

  ii.  Stated that the Planning Service was under stress which in turn placed additional stress on the scrutiny and decision process.

 

The Strategic Director, the Head of Finance and the Greater Cambridge Planning Service Planning Policy Manager responded to Members’ questions as follows:

  i.  Agreed that it was disappointing that little progress had been made on the Cycleways projects (100019-PV007). Delivery of the project was dependent on the County Council delivering element of the scheme. Noted Members support for this budget item and its retention in the budget.

  ii.  Confirmed that only half the Taxi Card budget had been allocated and suggested that as a demand led service, accurate forecasting was difficult. The service was under review and caution was needed with any additional promotion.

  iii.  Confirmed that work was on-going to improve the income shortfall, income pattern and the shared service profile.

  iv.  Suggested that recruitment difficulties were a national problem and confirmed that a range of options were under consideration, such as, development of existing staff and apprentices.

  v.  Agreed that losing staff to the private sector was an on-going problem for the service.

 

Councillor Bick stated that it was regrettable that the Executive Councillor for Transport and Community Safety had not been in attendance to hear the debate on transport related issues.

 

The Committee resolved by 8 votes to 0 and 1 abstention to endorse the recommendations.

 

The Executive Councillor approved the recommendations.

 

Conflicts of Interest Declared by the Executive Councillor (and any Dispensations Granted)

 

No conflicts of interest were declared by the Executive Councillor.

19/23/PnT

Greater Cambridge Sustainable Design and Construction Supplementary Planning Document – Draft Document for Consultation pdf icon PDF 447 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Matter for Decision

  i.  The report presented the draft Greater Cambridge Sustainable Design and Construction Supplementary Planning Document (SPD) for consultation purposes.  The SPD was being prepared to provide guidance on the implementation of policies related to climate change and sustainable design and construction within the adopted Cambridge and South Cambridgeshire Local Plans in order to support the Greater Cambridge growth agenda and delivery of sustainable development. 

 

Decision of Executive Councillor for Planning Policy and Open Spaces

 

Resolved:

 

  i.  To agree the draft Greater Cambridge Sustainable Design and Construction SPD (attached at Appendix 1 to the Officer’s report)  for consultation purposes;

  ii.  that the consultation period will take place between Monday 15 July and Monday 23 September 2019;

 iii.  that the Joint Director of Planning and Economic

Development be granted delegated authority, in liaison with the Executive Councillor for Planning Policy and Open Spaces, and the Chair and Spokes for the Planning Policy and Transport Scrutiny Committee, to make any editing changes to the draft SPD and supporting documents prior to publication and to agree the Statement and Consultation and draft Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) and draft Habitats Regulation Assessment (HRA) Screenings Reports for consultation alongside the draft SPD, including with the three statutory bodies.

 

Reason for the Decision

As set out in the Officer’s report.

 

Any Alternative Options Considered and Rejected

Not applicable.

 

Scrutiny Considerations

 

The Committee received a report from the Senior Sustainability Officer.

 

The Committee made the following comments in response to the report:

  i.  Members expressed regret that national policy frustrated local ambition to deliver higher standards of sustainable development.

  ii.  Suggested that the consultation documents should be sent to local voluntary groups including Camsight.

 

The Senior Sustainability Officers stated the following in response to Members’ questions:

  i.  The report would return to this Committee in January for adoption following the consultation period.

  ii.  The introduction to the document addresses the integration of sustainability considerations into the design of new developments from the outset, with reference to the RIBA (Royal Institute of British Architects) works plan.

  iii.  The SPD concentrates on the built environment with wider environmental concerns being addressed elsewhere.

  iv.  Policy 30 would not apply to extensions built under permitted development rights. However, there was a possibility that this could be covered under building regulations at a future date.

  v.  A ‘Forword’ would be added to the document at a later stage and this would set out the Council’s ambition to encourage exemplar applications.

  vi.  Confirmed that the document would add weight to the Local Plan and would influence the next Local Plan.

 vii.  The proposals had been subjected to viability assessments. However, it was acknowledged that these might be challenged by developers.

viii.  Confirmed that Equality Impact Assessments had been included in the documentation.

  ix.  Suggested that the document would not be considered a material consideration until formally adopted but that it would gain weight to decision making process the nearer it came to adoption.

 

The Planning Policy Manager stated the following in response to Members’ questions:

  i.  The SPD would supplement the adopted Local Plan which includes a wider commitment to sustainability in future joint Local Plans.

 

Councillor Hipkin stated that he felt that the discussion on this very important document had been cut short and that he had not been able to ask all of his questions.  The Chair stated that he had not seen the Councillor indicate his wish to speak and invited him to ask his final questions before moving to the vote.

 

Councillor Hipkin stated the following:

  i.  Enforcement would be problematic given staffing constraints.

  ii.  Asked if the environmental standards delivered on the University development at Eddington could be required elsewhere.

  iii.  Suggested that the Council, in its role as a developer, should be exemplar and should deliver to the same standard as that achieved by the University.

 

The Senior Sustainability Officers responded. Requirements for Eddington had been based on a national policy document that was no longer available. The Planning Inspector had removed some of the more challenging standards from the Local Plan.

 

The Strategic Director accepted that Eddington was an outstanding scheme but stated that due to the very high costs, it was not accessible to many people. The Council needed to deliver viable accommodation for local people.

 

The Executive Councillor thanked the Committee for their thorough debate on this item which would be relevant to the next Local Plan.

 

The Committee unanimously resolved to endorse the amended recommendations.

 

The Executive Councillor approved the recommendations.

 

Conflicts of Interest Declared by the Executive Councillor (and any Dispensations Granted)

No conflicts of interest were declared by the Executive Councillor.

 

19/24/PnT

Statement of Community Involvement pdf icon PDF 212 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Matter for Decision

  i.  The report presented the Statement of Community Involvement (SCI) for adoption following the conclusion of public consultation. The Town and Country Planning (Local Planning) (England) (Amendment) Regulations 2017, state that LPAs in England must review their SCI every five years to ensure it is up to date and reflects current legislation and best practice. The SCI has been prepared to ensure that the LPAs are in accordance with this regulatory requirement.

 

  ii.  In the context of the Greater Cambridge area, the new SCI sets out how Cambridge City Council and South Cambridgeshire District Councils as part of the Greater Cambridge Shared Planning service will consult on planning policy documents and planning applications, ensuring that the two councils are consistent in their approach to engagement with local communities. The SCI would replace the adopted SCI of Cambridge City Council (2013) and South Cambridgeshire District Council (2010).

 

Decision of Executive Councillor for Planning Policy and Open Spaces

 

  i.  Resolved to adopt the Statement of Community Involvement (2019) for Greater Cambridge, prepared jointly with South Cambridgeshire District Council.

 

  ii.  Agreed that the Joint Director of Planning and Economic Development is granted delegated authority, in liaison with the Executive Councillor for Planning Policy and Open Spaces, and the Chair and Spokes for the Planning Policy and Transport Scrutiny Committee, to make any editing changes prior to publication.

 

Reason for the Decision

As set out in the Officer’s report.

 

Any Alternative Options Considered and Rejected

Not applicable.

 

Scrutiny Considerations

 

The Committee received a report from the Senior Planning Policy Officer.

 

In response to the report, councillors commented that more clarity was needed regarding Section 2.2 of the document. The public needed to understand the engagement process. The Senior Planning Policy Officer undertook to discuss this further with the Executive Councillor outside the meeting.

 

Councillor Green suggested that Cambridge University had offered to provide training and support to members of the public on how best to engage with the planning process.

 

The Senior Planning Policy Officer said the following in response to Members’ questions:

  i.  Confirmed that this Committee had seen an earlier draft of the document and suggested that it would be difficult to make anything more than minor changes as this would require further consultation.

  ii.  Confirmed that the statement regarding Councillor call-in of a planning application had been kept at a high level as this was a joint policy and engagement details varied across the authorities.

  iii.  Agreed to add links to the document to direct the public to further information on engagement.

  iv.  Confirmed that a commitment had been made to simplify the planning idox system as members of the public had found it confusing.

 

Councillors sought clarification regarding the area of public notification of planning application and questioned how proposed savings would be achieved. Members sought an assurance that there was no intention to reduce existing service levels regarding public notification. Officers undertook to circulate full details of notification areas outside the meeting.

 

The Committee resolved by 5 votes to 1 and 2 abstentions to endorse the recommendations.

 

The Executive Councillor approved the recommendations.

 

Conflicts of Interest Declared by the Executive Councillor (and any Dispensations Granted)

No conflicts of interest were declared by the Executive Councillor.

 

19/25/PnT

2019 S106 Priority-Setting (Play Areas and Open Spaces) pdf icon PDF 379 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Public Speakers

Catherine Rowland and Linda Frost addressed the Committee in support of the Consort Way play area boundary fencing and made the following comments:

 

·  Spine Road traffic was fast moving.

·  An unfenced play area left children vulnerable to moving vehicles.

·  Signage in the area was inadequate and did not prevent dogs or cyclists from using the area.

·  Older children use the play area to play football.

·  30mph signs had recently been erected in the area and local people were current engaged in getting this reduced to 20mph.

·  Fencing was needed urgently to prevent an accident.

 

Executive Councillor Response:

 

Councillor Thornburrow thanked the speakers for their comments and undertook to ask the County Council for their comments. She would also ask officers to consider this item as a priority.

 

Matter for Decision

The Council uses S106 contributions paid by developers to mitigate the impact of developments on facilities and amenities in Cambridge. In line with the arrangements agreed by the Executive Councillor in March 2019, the Council had invited proposals for improving play areas and open spaces within the city as part of its 2019 S106 funding round. Thirty applications had been received and assessed against the S106 selection criteria. The report summarised those applications and assessments and made 17 recommendations for S106 funding.

 

Decision of Executive Councillor for Planning Policy and Open Spaces

 

Resolved:

  i.  to allocate S106 funding to the following projects, subject to business case approval (see Section 4 and Appendix A of the Officers report for project details).

 

 

 

S106 funding types

 

Project

Play provision

Informal open space

N01

Logan’s Meadow: provide more benches and bins

-

£7.5k

N02

Bramblefields local nature reserve: more planting

-

£7.5k

N05

Arbury Court play area improvements (landscaping & equipment)

£15k

£15k

N07

Jubilee Gardens: improved access, landscaping, planting and seating

-

£40k

N08

Chestnut Grove Play Area: benches and bins

-

£7.5k

E07

Robert May Close play area: new play equipment and the replacement of two park benches

£5k

£35k

S01

Cherry Hinton Hall play area improvements: including accessible play equipment, plus landscaping

£90k

£60k

S02

Holbrook Road play area improvements (additional equipment and extra bench)

£46k

£1k

S03

Nightingale Avenue Rec Ground: new all-weather footpath between car park and community garden

-

£15k

S05

Consort Way play area (Trumpington Meadows): boundary fencing

-

£30k

WC1

Jesus Green ditch: landscaping and biodiversity improvements

-

£53k

WC2

Jesus Green: new wildflower meadow

-

£18k

WC3

Jesus Green: ecological/ educational space

-

£7k

WC4

Jesus Green barbecue area (and associated signage) plus drinking water fountain

-

£12.5k

WC5

Midsummer Common Community Orchard: drinking water fountain

 

-

£2.5k

WC6

Sheep’s Green local nature reserve: biodiversity bank improvements at Mill Pond

-

£22k

X01

Biodiversity enhancements (e.g. ‘Bee banks’) at parks in in East Chesterton, Coleridge, Trumpington & Market

-

£5k

E01

Thorpe Way Rec Ground: new footpath

 

£15k

S04

Nightingale Avenue Rec community garden: accessible polytunnel

 

£1.5k

 

 

Reason for the Decision

As set out in the Officer’s report.

 

Any Alternative Options Considered and Rejected

Not applicable.

 

Scrutiny Considerations

The Committee received a report from the Development Manager.

 

The Development Manager said the following in response to Members’ questions:

  i.  The needs of elderly residents would be considered when benches were installed in Logan’s Meadow and other sites and benches with arms would be used where possible.

  ii.  Wheelchair user’s needs would be taken into account when drinking water facilities were installed.

  iii.  The budget allocation for the water fountain included wider costs such as officer time and any consultation work needed.

  iv.  Confirmed that lighting costs had been removed from a number of projects as S106 funding could only be used for capital cost and not on-going maintenance or utilities charges. This could be reconsidered at a later date for other funding sources.

  v.  Requests for litter bins that had been unsuccessful could be directed to alternative funding streams such as the next round of Environmental Improvement Projects.

  vi.  Confirmed that the definition of Informal Open Spaces for S106 purposes related to soft landscaping. Public Realm funding might be available for hard surfaces areas.

 vii.  Confirmed that the S106 pot was diminishing and that officers were endeavouring to make the most positive contribution with the reduced funds.

 

Members were disappointed that the £50,000 Informal Open Spaces funding for Chesterton Recreation Ground was being withdrawn. Officer’s confirmed that the funding for this project was not time sensitive and suggested deleting this recommendation to allow further consultation work to be completed.

 

The Committee unanimously resolved to delete recommendation (i)

De-allocate £50,000 of informal open space S106 funding for previously prioritised project for a skate park at Chesterton Recreation Ground (see paragraph 3.9);

The Committee unanimously resolved to endorse the recommendation (ii):

to allocate S106 funding to the following projects, subject to business case approval (see Section 4 and Appendix A of the Officers report for project details).

The Executive Councillor approved the recommendations.

 

Conflicts of Interest Declared by the Executive Councillor (and any Dispensations Granted)

No conflicts of interest were declared by the Executive Councillor.

 

19/26/PnT

Annual Report of 3C Building Control Service & Planning Shared Service 2018/19 pdf icon PDF 253 KB

Minutes:

Matter for Decision

  i.  The report summarised the performance of the 3Cs Building Control Shared Service and the Greater Cambridge Shared Planning Service during 2018/19.

 

  ii.  The principle of producing a single annual report for both the 3Cs and Greater Cambridge (2Cs) shared services was agreed at committee in July 2015.

 

  iii.  The overarching Annual Report for the 3Cs Shared Services, submitted to South Cambridgeshire and Huntingdonshire District Council Committees for scrutiny, includes ICT, Legal and Building Control Shared Services. At the City Council, only the Building Control service falls under the remit of this Committee, and therefore the annual report is extracted from the overarching report and enclosed below.

 

  iv.  Greater Cambridge Shared Services Annual Report covers the Waste, Planning and Internal Audit services, and is submitted to the South Cambridgeshire District Council Committee for scrutiny, but at the City Council only the Planning Shared Service falls under this Committee’s remit and therefore the service report had been extracted and was included below.

 

Decision of Executive Councillor for Planning Policy and Open Spaces

 

  i.  Noted the content of the report.

 

Reason for the Decision

As set out in the Officer’s report.

 

Any Alternative Options Considered and Rejected

Not applicable.

 

Scrutiny Considerations

The Committee received a report from the Head of Building Control.

 

The Committee made the following comments in response to the report:

  i.  Stated that the service could be seen as a success story.

  ii.  Welcomed initiates being investigated to make roles within the service more attractive and to aid staff recruitment and retention. 

 

The Head of Building Control stated the following in response to Members’ questions:

  i.  The surplus in the budget was the result of improvement in the fee earning stream for this year and resulted in an increase in deferred income.

  ii.  Clarified what the Building Control Services Key Performance Indicator’s covered. These included the following: national targets, response times, determination targets, customer satisfaction and commercially sensitive targets.

 

The Committee unanimously resolved to endorse the recommendation.

 

The Executive Councillor approved the recommendation.

 

Conflicts of Interest Declared by the Executive Councillor (and any Dispensations Granted)

No conflicts of interest were declared by the Executive Councillor.

 

19/27/PnT

To Note Record of Urgent Decision

To note the Record of Decision taken by the Executive Councillor for Strategy and External Partnerships since the last meeting of the Planning and Transport Scrutiny Committee.

19/27/PnTa

Draft Mineral and Waste Plan Consultation Response pdf icon PDF 185 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The decision was noted.